Friday 7 January 2022

Spaced Out Box Card

Here’s a little box card I made recently.   I stamped out the background with Clearly Besotted Picture It Space.  Masked the images and used Distress Oxides in Blueprint Sketch, Black Soot and Tumbled Glass.
I flicked silver ink over the image using a fan brush.  I then coloured the planets, stars and rocket with copic markers.

I stamped out the monster images using Clearly Besotted Pop Up Monsters.  I coloured them and fussy cut them.

Then stamped and heat embossed some sentiments.   Then it was just a matter of assembling the card and embellishments of punched out holographic stars.  Really fun card to make.
#Clearly Besotted #stamps #copicmarkers #distressoxides #monsters #space

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Comparison is the Thief of Joy


There's a bit of a story behind my card today.  

I was recently watching a fellow crafter, Ann Melvin on YouTube and the title of her video was "I am SO TIRED of it!!”   Intrigued by the title, I watched with interest.  

To summarise, she was bemoaning the cost of trying to copy the cards top celebrity crafters show us.   The list of products "needed" to make such projects (she recounted) can reach £60-£70.  She discussed the resulting dissatisfaction which comes when we try to reproduce these 'ideals'.   The chasing of perfection is demoralising she suggested.   She was in a real tizz with her crafty life and I felt sorry for her.   I've been there too.  

Whilst I sympathised with a lot of what she had to say; I did not agree with everything.  

Ann didn't refer to any of the YouTube designers by name but I've a pretty good idea to whom she is referring.  I think that we have to remember that these top designers are 'the professionals'.  It's their job to promote and show us the new products of the companies they work for.  We have to remember that a lot of these products are thus given to them free of charge.  Of course, wouldn't we all love to receive lovely crafting products for nothing?  Regular 'Happy Mail' parcels are so exciting.  I know from experience.  I've served on numerous Design Teams in the past. But, there's also the flip side to consider.  Think about the enormous pressure there must be on them.  There’s a constant demand to keep coming up with interesting designs, techniques and designs for us.  They're on a crafting treadmill!  I know that I'm always grateful for their tips and inspiration.  I am fully aware that my efforts will not always match theirs.   There is a wise old saying “comparison is the thief of joy".     How though are we to improve and progress our crafting if we don't strive for this perfection?  The key is not to allow our best to be not good enough.  Crafting is my passion; it's like the air that I breathe.  I'm not always happy with what I produce and I know what I make is not always perfect.  I'm my own harshest critic at times but I have learned to be patient.  I know that practice makes perfect.  And, it's the doing that's the important bit not the result.

I lost my paid employment just before the pandemic struck.  I haven't worked for the past two years and money is tight.  It forces me to be careful about what I buy and I've been in a sort of creative wilderness for the longest time.  

I have recently been watching videos from these 'celebrity designers', looking for devine inspiration.  They have kickstarted my creative spark again.  I'm so, so thankful for that. Yes indeed, but with the understanding that I am creating just for the joy of it and not as a professional.

Inspiration card from the Internet - wish I could credit the originator but I didn't make any notes at the time.  Thank you whoever you are.

I printed out the image of this card a while ago because I thought it was fun.  I thought it would spur me on to create again.   Unfortunately I can't remember where I first saw it.  I would love to be able to credit the original designer.   I have looked for it again but without success.   Yesterday I thought I would CASe it (Copy and Share).   I challenged myself to reproduce it using only stamps, dies and materials I already had.

And guess what . . . it was a lot of fun!  I don't think it turned out too bad either.  The 'bugs' are from a Stampendous set I bought in 2008. At the time I remember I ‘needed’ them.   I inked them for the first time (oh, the embarrassment!) for this card.   The same can be said for about 80 percent of my large stamp collection.  Yet it seems I'm all too willing to buy more, crazy isn't it?

The message of this post is really in defense of these celebrity designers.  Yes, they keep on showing us lots of tempting stuff, it's sort of in their job descriptions.  Some of us can afford to buy it and that's just great.  However some of us can't and that's okay too because if you look in your stash, I'm guessing there are products there which can produce something at least similar looking.   To be fair to them a lot of them are aware enough to suggest alternatives which would give similar outcomes.  The designers aren't responsible for our dissatisfaction, we do that to ourselves and we need to stop.
Happy crafting everyone and thanks for visiting.
Please leave me a comment with your thoughts or feelings on this.

Bye for now

Julie Ann xx


Wednesday 13 November 2019

Snowflake Arch Christmas Card

A deceptively simple card to make.    

Start with a square of ice white pearlescent card.    Stamp the Snowflake arch stamp using Silver Dollar embossing powder in opposite corners.   Heat set and place Snowflake die over each impression in turn.   Carefully raise die cut areas.  

Die cut snowflakes again in another piece of cardstock.    Cover in clear glue and sprinkle with sparklicious glitter.    Set aside to dry.

Glue additional snowflakes in place over the corresponding snowflakes on the card front using 3D foam pads for dimension.  Die cut sentiment die several times and glue together carefully to form a dimensional greeting.  Glue into centre area of card front.  Run a glue pen around the edges of the card front and sprinkle with iridescent glitter.

Take a 7" x 7" card blank and cut a piece of silver mirror card slightly smaller.   Mat onto the card.   Cut a piece of coordinating designer paper (dp) 0.5cm smaller all around to leave a larger border and stick to mirror card card on front.

Stick Snowflake topper section of cardstock to the card blank section at a pleasing angle.    Finally finish with silver border peel off around card and topper sections and apply gemstones to taste.

Saturday 1 December 2018

Are you having a giraffe?

I was lucky enough to go with a group of crafty friends to the Sincerely Yours craft event at Leigh a couple of weeks ago.   I had a wonderful time catching up with friends and looking for new stash items.  This beautifully different stamp was one of the first things I picked up to look at and I instantly fell in love with his dear little face.
He's from Pink Ink Designs, a company that hitherto I had not been familiar with but I must say that I love what they do.  Since getting this darling, I've also bought the giant bee and dragonfly sets ( yet to be worked with)
I was in the right mood to stamp and bring him to life this morning so these are the results.
I used Prismacolor pencils to colour him:
PC1009 Dahlia Purple
PC995 Mulberry
PC1038 Neon Pink
PC943 Burnt Ochre
PC1087 Powder Blue
PC1103 Caribbean Sea
PC919 Non-Photo Blue
PC916 Canary Yellow
PC908 Dark Green
PC1005 Limepeel
PC911 Olive Green
Sparkle Pens
Spectrum Noir Sparkle - Clear
Spectrum Noir Sparkle - Magnolia
Spectrum Noir Sparkle- Firefly
and finishing touches with:
Tim Holtz
Distress Oxide - Pumice Stone
Distress Oxide - Crushed Olive
Distress Oxide - Stormy Sky
Sakura Pen-Touch - White
Artline 900XF - Gold

#pinkinkdesigns #giraffe #prismacolor #spectrumnoirsparkles #distressoxides #clearstamps #stamping #pink #creativityistherapy

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Tales from Willson Wood Parcel Card

The Tales from Willson Wood  collection has turned out to be my favourite Docrafts collection of 2016.  This parcel card shows off its beautiful papers and images (this one is my favourite) beautifully.

  1. Cut a sheet of card to measure 18 x 28.5 cm.  In a landscape orientation score at 9, 18, and 27 cm.  Turn 90 degrees and score two parallel lines (each 5cm long and 2.5 cm on either side of the scoreline) on the 18 cm scoreline.  The first one at 12 cm and the second at 16cm.  Join all scorelines to create a scored rectangle which measures 4 x 5 cm.  Take a craft knife and steel ruler and cut along the two vertical scorelines.  Do not cut along the horizontal scorelines.
  2. Fold and crease along all the scorelines with paper creaser.  Force the scored rectangle area into a recessed shape and the rest of the card blank into an elongated triangular shape. 
  3. Cut two pieces of planking paper to measure 8.5 x 17.5 cm.  Cut and measure around the recessed area and ink around all edges with Chocolate dye ink pad.  Stick into place on the front.  Repeat with the second piece and stick to the back of the project.
  4. Cut a strip of co-ordinating paper to measure 3.5 x 18 cm and stick to the front of the card.  Cut a strip of co-ordinating paper to measure 3 x 18 cm and stick to the first strip.  Choose a decoupage topper from the paper pack and make up.  Ink edges of completed decoupage topper.  Cut an oval mat from colour co-ordinating cardstock.   Mat and stick to the front of the card as shown.
  5. Cut a second piece of card to measure 12 x 16.8 cm.   Score at 4 cm intervals in a portrait orientation (4 and 8 cms).  Turn to a landscape orientation and score at 4, 8, 12, and 16 cms.  Cut to match the diagram, creating the tab sections as you cut.   Decorate all six faces with patterned paper squares, cut to measure 3.5 x 3.5 cm.  Glue all tab sections together to form a 4 cm cubed box.
  6. Decorate box and card with chosen embellishments to taste.

Shopping List:

Dye Ink Pad – Chocolate (DOA 550204)

Forever Friends

Buttons (30pcs) - Forever Friends – Opulent (FFS 354302)
Copper Brads (60pcs) - Forever Friends – Opulent (FFS 353100)


12 x 12” Solid Premium Cardstock Colossal (75 pcs) (PMA 164400)
A4 Ultimate Die-cut and Paper pack (48pk) – Tales of Willson Wood (PMA 160326)


Nesting Dies (5pcs) – Bloom (XCU 503417)
Nesting Dies (5pcs) - Scalloped Oval (Large) (XCU 503406)

Thursday 7 July 2016

New Adventures with Stampin' Up

At the end of June I became an Independent Demonstrator with Stampin' Up, something I had been thinking about for a long time.

In the end, taking the plunge was not a difficult decision, I have loved stamping for over 20 years and Stampin' Up are nothing if not passionate about stamping.

My starter kit arrived surprisingly quickly and included this stamp set "Helping Me Grow" which is amazing.

This set features two large floral images and their accompanying embellishment/sentiment stamps.  At £23.00 for 15 stamps I think it's great value for money as we all know florals stand the test of time and defy faddy trends.  This set will become a firm favourite, one that you will reach for again and again.

Throughout the rest of July SU are promoting their bonus.  For every £45 you spend you'll receive a £4.50 voucher which can be redeemed against any purchase in August.

Please visit my Stampin' Up website to purchase or to simply browse the catalogue.

Thanks for visiting 

Julie x

Thursday 2 June 2016

Father's Day Card-in-a-Box

Afternoon Crafters

Here is the first of the May- June projects I submitted to the Docrafts PDT

A fun to make greetings card for Father's Day but equally adaptable for any male themed occassion.


1. Cut a piece of A4 Kraft card to measure 16 x 29.5 cm.  Score at 7, 14, 21 and 28 cm in landscape orientation.  Turn and score at 7 cm up to 21 cm scoreline.

    2. Cut along 7, 14 and 21 cm scoreline up to the 7 cm scoreline.  Fold and crease along all the scorelines with paper creaser.  Cut silver mirror card to measure 6.5 x 8.5 cm (three times) and emboss each piece using embossing folder.

3. Stick to lower portion of box with Anita’s Tacky Glue and add small silver brad to each side at bottom edge (top edge will not be seen).
4. Cut black cardstock to 3 x 6.5 cm (six times).  These will become the drawers.  Cut silver mirror card at 2.5 x 6 cm (six times) and emboss using embossing folder.  Mat each piece onto black cardstock.  Pierce each “drawer” and add a large brad to each.  Stick two drawers to each flap with 3D foam tape equally spacing them.

5. Cut another piece of mirror card to measure 6.5 x 13 cm and emboss with folder.  Glue to back of box and add silver brads to top corners of mirror board.  Glue tab to back of card.  Cut two strips of Kraft card to measure 3 x 9 cm; score at 1 cm at each end.  Fold to create “Z” shape and stick into box, parallel to each other.

6. To decorate, select desired elements from A4 Ultimate Die-cut and Paper Pack.  Stamp various tools onto paper and paper piece to create ‘tools’.  Detail with silver gel ink pen. Mount each of elements onto narrow strips of acetate. Arrange elements as shown or to your desired outcome.

Shopping List:

Dye Ink Pad – Black (DOA 550205)
Metallic Gel Pen Duo – Gold and Silver (DOA 855101)

A4 Kraftstax (25pk) (PMA 160604)
12 x 12” Solid Premium Cardstock Colossal (75 pcs) (PMA 164400)
A4 Ultimate Die-cut & Paper Pack (48pk) – Mr. Smith’s Workshop (PMA 160323)
A4 Mirror Board – Assorted Gold & Silver Pack (20pk, 250gsm) (PMA 164500)
A5 Clear Stamp Sets (21pcs) – Mr. Mister – Icons (PMA 907234)
Vintage Brads (140pcs) – Mr. Smith’s Workshop (PMA 353206)

A6 Embossing Folder – Galvanised Steel (XCU 515216)